Please check out my new website Curriculum For Autism Resources where you can follow my blog, find information about autism, and shop for educational autism resources.
Do some of your students need help developing their social thinking skills? Do they need help thinking about how other people feel? Here’s a set of easy-prep clip cards which might be helpful for these students:
Click HERE for more Social Skills activities
If you’d like to learn how to use my clip cards in your classroom, check out this FREE video
After reading about “Uniquely Normal” by Rob Bernstein in Autism Asperger Digest magazine, I decided to purchase it, and I’m so glad I did! Since my son’s autism diagnosis in 2002 I have read hundreds of books about autism. “Uniquely Normal” is one of the very best books on autism which I’ve read.
Rob Bernstein’s strategies are so simple to implement, and don’t cost parents or teachers anything. He works on the premise that every autistic person is an individual, and different from every other autistic person , and he taps into their unique perspective. I love how he uses language to develop thinking skills, which in turn help behaviours and skills to develop. Rather than teaching individuals with autism to learn by rote, Bernstein builds on their capacity to think and figure things out for themself.
Forget overloading the autistic person you love or support with numerous behaviour strategies, rules and visuals, and buy amazing this book!
(affiliate links are included in this post)
Do you have kids in your classroom who struggle to sit still during lessons? They probably need to move in order to stay focused. A great way to let them move and work at the same time is to give them a wobble cushion like this one (affiliate link)
At home, my son actually loves to sit on a wobble cushion on top of a step ladder for extra sensory input.
If you’re looking for more sensory ideas for your classroom, here’s a FREE Sensory Strategies poster
Meeting sensory needs is vital if we want kids to be able to learn.
Many dedicated teachers are currently buying resources for their special education students with their own money. If you are one of these amazing teachers who always pays for new activities for your classroom yourself, then why not ask your school to sign up for a TPT Schools account . Using your new school account you can browse my Curriculum For Autism store and choose what you need for you class, while you admin pays for the resources. This is a great way to buy bigger BUNDLES for your students.
A great way to learn the basic social skills of turn taking and sharing is by playing simple card games and board games. For students who are just beginning to learn these skills it’s important to start with simple games with not too many rules, such as dominoes or lotto.
Here are a couple of my games which are great to start with
Both these games involve simple matching skills in addition to teaching kids to wait until it’s their turn to play. It’s best for students to play games with an adult first until they have grasped the basic social skills required.
Once your students are ready to play games with a few more rules, here are some games they might enjoy. I love how sturdy Orchard Toys games are- they last for years.
Games really are a great way to combine Academic goals with Social Skills goals. Have fun!
Do you have students who seek proprioceptive (deep pressure) input? Do they stamp around the room or crash onto the floor?
If your students don’t want to wear a weighted vest, or they are just to expensive to purchase, why not try putting wrist weights into your students pockets or backpacks?
These sports wrist weights are so easy to use (this is an affiliate link).
They’re affordable and portable, and a lot more subtle for students who would feel self conscious using therapy equipment in the classroom. They’re also great for wearing at home our when you’re students are out and about. Just remember to remove them before putting the clothes in the laundry.
If you’re looking for more sensory ideas and activities you can follow my Sensory Processing Pinterest board.
We often think of our students with autism as being visual learners.We provide them with visual schedules and visual prompts. In the school environment they may see attractive classroom displays and have to walk along bright, busy hallways.
For some students, however, too much visual information can cause sensory overload. They find it difficult to attend to tasks because they’re having to process too much visual information on the page or cards in front of them. Whether I’m creating math, language, or science resources I aim to design my resources with clear layouts and as few visual distractions as possible, in order to reduce the amount of visual information which students are required to process.
This FREE Visual Preference Cut & Paste will enable your students (who are readers) to tell you what their individual visual preferences are.
Some autistic people need proprioceptive input (deep pressure) in order to sense where there body is in space, and to feel calmer. Buying weighted sensory products can be expensive, so here’s an easy and inexpensive way to make a weighted vest or jacket for a child or adult:
Buy wrist weights from a sports shop and pop them into the pockets of a favourite hoodie. The hoodie in the photo is sleeveless (as my son wears it indoors in summer), but you might prefer to use a hoodie with sleeves.
If you’re looking for more sensory processing activities and ideas, why not check out my Sensory Processing Pinterest Board
Although Christmas is a few weeks away yet, are some of your students getting anxious as they anticipate the changes in their routines which the Christmas celebrations can bring? If so, my FREE Christmas Countdown Chart might be helpful.
It’s important to remember that not all students like Christmas lights and decorations, so I like to make sure they have somewhere to go to ‘escape’ from the decorations, the noise and the excitement. My Christmas Countdown Chart includes a Christmas-Free Zone Poster which you can place on the door of a quiet room, or other safe space.
If you have students who are reluctant to write answers to math problems, you might be interested in my new Circle To Match sets. These are great for students who would prefer to circle, check or dab their answers, or they could even use stickers. And, they’re no prep for you!
More Circle to Match sets are coming soon, at a variety of levels!
Fine Motor Skills and Motor Planning can be difficult for some kids with autism. This can impact on their ability to write & draw. That’s why I have created several Fine Motor products, and STEMthinking has created some Drawing Skills products.
You can check out my Fine Motor activities HERE
If you’re looking for more inspiration for Fine Motor activities for your students, you can follow my Fine Motor Skills Pinterest boards.
If you’re teaching your students Visual Discrimination skills then I hope my FREE Same/Different Sorting Boards are useful in your classroom.
You can use these boards with any of my Same Different flash cards eg Same/Different Vehicles (shown above).
These Same or Different clip cards & task cards are great for Visual Discrimination and Early Language Skills
Teaching shopping skills to kids with autism can be difficult as there are so many small steps & skills to consider, and each child’s sensory needs need to be met. That’s why I have created a Teaching Shopping Skills Animation Video for teachers & parents.
I love creating clip cards for students. They’re a great way to engage students of all abilities. For kids who have difficulty writing, clip cards enables them to show their knowledge with out the stress of having to write.
For students who need to fidget, clip cards keep their hands busy and provide their hands with sensory feedback, while they’re focusing answering. Providing a variety of different types and sizes of clips will help your students practice their fine motor skills too.
Clip cards don’t need to just be for Speech & Language activities. I love to use them for Math, Science, Life Skill & Geography tasks too.
Many people with autism can be overloaded by too much input. Overload may be triggered by lights, colours, moving objects, loud noises, everyday sounds, touch, textures.
Here in the UK, the NAS have recently launched a video called Too Much Information to simulate what it feels like to be overloaded in public places. View it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr4_dOorquQ
In school there are many triggers of sensory overload which can make it extremely difficult for students with autism to focus on tasks.
It can be difficult for teachers to know what are the triggers of their student’s overload, therefore I am creating some simple products to help. Available here https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Autism-Auditory-Preferences-Sensory-Visual-Support-2575352